Sunday, 10 December 2017

Christmas catalogue families are totally fictitious

In Christmas catalogues the families
are  totally well-groomed, beautifully dressed and smiling
gathering around an immaculate, perfectly decorated table.
An abundance of sumptuous food appears,  prepared and served with ease
in a house that is spotless and filled with designer furniture,
The centrepiece a Canadian spruce, so tastefully bedecked with colour-coordinated ornaments,
Beneath lie the gifts, each expensive present
So perfect for the recipient.

But real life is a little different-
Full of messes of all kinds
Not enough time to clean up and sort them out
Food spills and burns,
Families come in all shapes and sizes,
dispositions and conditions,
And the Christmas tree is covered in
last year's souvenirs and kindergarten projects from long ago

And that's okay because

The first Christmas was a little different too,
No silent night
Just the noisy din of a crowded town,
No snowy winter wonderland
In the stony mountain paths of Judea
A couple newly wed, (rumours abounded)
No welcome here, no family
No room in the inn, a smelly, dusty stable
Plain food if they were lucky
and a bed of straw for a baby

The birth of a baby
A star shining brightly
Shepherds gazing in wonder
Cattle lowing,
The sky filled with angels rejoicing:
Salvation for mankind has come
And heaven and nature sing.

No Christmas tree in Bethlehem
only God's precious gift of love
So perfect for every recipient.

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